In-Depth With Gary Gallagher

Here’s a 3-hour discussion with Professor Gary Gallagher on the Civil War, done in 2006 on C-SPAN.  He also takes questions from viewers.  This is an outstanding video, though it takes quite an investment in time.

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7 comments

  1. Bob Nelson · · Reply

    I always enjoy listening to him, although he used much of this same stuff in more recent presentations (this one was done in 2006). As for the length, it’s easy to break it up into 3 or 4 sections. Interesting that he works standing up and is a “hunt and punch,” 2 or 3 finger typist. What a library!!! I just wish the volume had been a bit louder. For those of you who have not gotten enough of your “Gary Gallagher Fix,” go to YouTube. There are around twenty lectures/presentations by the professor.

  2. Thanks for posting. Watched all three hours. I was disappointed that he used the question on immigrant soldiers to claim that immigrants were underrepresented in the military. Gary says that while immigrants ts made up 30% of the military age male population they accounted for 25% of army enlistments. In fact, the foreign-born, not all of whom were immigrants, made up 27% of the military age male population in the loyal states according to most estimates. In addition, the number he used for immigrants in the army, as Damian Shiels has pointed out in another context, does not include immigrants in the navy. Of the nearly 200,000 men in the Union navy, 42% were foreign born according to statistics published in Union Jacks by Michael J. Bennet (2004) in a UNC book of which Gallagher was the series editor. The fact that many immigrants chose the navy over the army does not mean that they did not serve during the war. I don’t know if factoring in sailors get immigrants to 27% of those who were in the Union military, nor do I particularly care. But I have heard both Gallagher and McPherson both make essentially the same statement when asked about immigrants in the war.

    I am not sure why this is the go-to remark.

    1. Well, by definition army enlistments would exclude the Navy. Much as it would distress our naval aficionados, the Civil War was foremost a land war. As to the statistics, it seems Prof. Gallagher may have simply rounded the figures rather than give an exact number.

      1. 27% is more properly rounded to 25% than to 30%. Gallagher used it make an invidious distinction.

        1. I see that as a quibble, Pat, and I’m not sure what is invidious about his claim. If we accept the 27% statistic and the 25% statistic, then were not immigrants underrepresented in the army? I don’t think he meant it as a slam against immigrants. I didn’t get that meaning from his statement.

          1. I did, but I am not sure I want to rewatch 3 hours of video to find the evidence.

          2. My recollection is he was rebutting confederate claims that the Union Army was made up of foreigners.

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